Amos 1-5: Let Justice Roll Down

In the church, we often say that we are eagerly waiting for the day that the Lord Jesus will return. We say, “Come, Lord Jesus, come!” And this is a good thing. But Amos gives is a sobering reminder of what type of people should not look forward to that day:

18 Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD!
Why would you have the day of the LORD?
It is darkness, and not light,
19 as if a man fled from a lion,
and a bear met him,
or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall,
and a serpent bit him.
20 Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light,
and gloom with no brightness in it?

21 “I hate, I despise your feasts,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,
I will not look upon them.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs;
to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

In other words, a life filled with empty rituals, no matter how good they are, will not sufficiently prepare you for the day of judgement. Justice will roll down on you like an ever-flowing stream and all your righteous deeds will be proven false. GOD DOES NOT WANT our rituals. He wants our hearts. And only when our hearts are given freely over to God by faith in Jesus Christ will we be able to look the day of judgment in the face and say: “I am ready, for the blood of Jesus has made me clean before a holy God. Come, Lord Jesus, Come!”

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Am 5:18–24). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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